After learning that he must undergo surgery due to a leaking heart valve (a condition known as mitral valve regurgitation), filmmaker and actor Ben Mittleman turns the camera on himself to capture his impending procedure and recovery from open heart surgery.
Having watched his father battle the same condition when he was a young man, Ben suddenly finds himself confronting his own mortality in early middle age. At the same time, Ben must also endure unforeseen complications concerning his closest friends and family, including life threatening health challenges facing his mother and girlfriend.
As his girlfriend and mother's conditions worsen and his own health becomes less certain, Ben faces a wealth of introspection that he shares with the camera. Although a natural showman, Ben has no need to exaggerate his feelings- the rawness, pain and uncertainty he faces with each passing day come through the camera in a natural, unbroken stream.
What transpires over the length of Dying to Live: The Journey Into A Man's Open Heart is an understanding of the human condition in its confrontation with loss, why we fear it, and how we can approach it with dignity, understanding and even humor. For all of the pain and anger present in the film, it is matched in equal parts with tremendous care, affection, great faith and love. In the end, care-giving and the act of simply being there for his girlfriend and mother becomes the secret to Ben's road to recovery and his freedom from the fear of dying.
It is these affairs of the heart that are the soul of Dying to Live: The Journey Into A Man's Open Heart. Ultimately, the notion that we can find peace and happiness in even the most tragic events in life that reminds us why, when forced to stare down own mortality, we are all, in essence, dying to live
Watch the Trailer
For a preview of Dying to Live: The Journey into A Man's Open Heart, check out the Watch Trailer page. For more information about Ben Mittleman, as well as the people who helped him craft his independent documentary, visit the Filmmakers page.
To purchase the film, head on over to the Purchase page.